The Church and the military have a lot in common. Both involve large groups of people. Both have missions. Both exist for the benefit of others. Both require personal sacrifice.
But they also have one very remarkable difference.
When a commander steps in front of his soldiers, it’s often to give them a mission. The mission might be to establish a perimeter, collect intel, take new ground, rescue a hostage, or some other difficult assignment. Many more times than not, the mission means one thing: an encounter with the enemy.
So when the soldiers set out to accomplish their mission, they’re not surprised when the enemy does what it’s supposed to do, namely, fight back. When soldiers do their job, they expect to come under attack.
Interestingly, when soldiers experience resistance, they know they’re headed in the right direction…even if it’s a painful direction. In fact, the very attacks they’re enduring assures them that this is a worthwhile mission. They know the enemy is attacking them precisely because he doesn’t want them there.
And then there is the Church.
The Church has also been given a mission; primarily, it’s to make disciples. That means regular men, women, and kids are to invade the Enemy’s territory and bring out the souls he holds hostage. If they actually choose to obey Jesus’ command, it’s a guarantee they will fall under the Enemy’s attack.
And here’s where the great difference between the military and the Church is revealed. Instead of recognizing the mission’s importance when they fall under Satan’s attack, Christians too often misinterpret his resistance as their misunderstanding of God’s will. “Well, this is harder than we thought. If God had actually called us to this task, it would surely be easier, right? Maybe we should work on something else.”
What if Moses had thought that when taking stock of Pharaoh’s power in Egypt?
What if David had thought that when staring across the battle lines at Goliath?
What if Esther had thought that when her people faced genocide?
What if Jesus had thought that when confronting the cross?
When the military faces opposition, it gets serious. Too often, when the Church faces opposition, it gets scared. This must change.
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(Resource cataloged by David R Smith)